View Full Version : TR4/4A Leveling the Valve Cover

07-20-2014, 11:06 PM
I have a Justin Wagner gasket that I want to install and I have a valve cover that when pressed down on three corners has a 1/8" rise on the fourth. (I used a marble counter top as my guide and double checked against the work bench.)

Is that worth trying to knock down? If so, what is the best way. If it takes a body hammer, which one exactly? I probably should also look into a different surface to work from, too.

Thanks in advance!

07-21-2014, 07:58 AM
Marble and even faux stone countertops are usually pretty flat, flat enough for what you are doing. Generally, thick pieces of MDF also give a very flat surface for most purposes. EDIT: But nothing is more appropriate to use for checking the cover than the cylinder head itself.

If it is one corner that is up, you may find it is due to twist that you need to work out of the cover by clamping one edge down and then clamping a lever to the flange to twist it the "other way". If you RTV the gasket to the valve cover you can easily accommodate 0.010" or more waviness.

To compensate for the gaps, clean all gasket residue off the head and the seal track on the valve cover then degrease both.
Spread a thin coat of grease on the top of the cylinder head where the gasket will sit, then press the new gasket firmly down against the head.
Apply RTV to the gasket track on the valve cover, a thin continuous bead.
Lower the valve cover onto the gasket and tighten the hardware finger tight to hold the cover down in place.
Allow over night for the RTV to cure, then tighten the cover completely.

The grease will hold the new gasket down flat against the head and provide a release when taking the valve cover off.
The RTV will both bond the gasket to the cover and fill all the waviness and voids to the valve cover seal track.
It takes a bit more time to do it this way but it provides an excellent seal, requires very low torque to achieve a seal, and the valve cover is removable multiple times for service.

07-21-2014, 08:01 AM
If you have the original chrome valve cover, it is probably warped from the nuts being tightened too tight on the studs. Those are almost always overtightened. If you hammer and dolly,lightly, around the two holes on top it may release the pressure pulling up the corner. I would think the gasket should close up a gap that small anyway. Just a suggestion.

07-21-2014, 12:54 PM
I agree with the twist concept by Doug, but if it's the same type of gasket that Wagner made for the TR6 valve cover, I don't think you'll be able to use RTV or anything other than glue between the gasket and valve cover.

07-22-2014, 10:08 AM
Hi Jeremy,

Glad to see that you are still around! I was just thinking that it's been a while since I've seen a post from you.


07-22-2014, 10:03 PM
Chrome doesn't respond well to beatings. I frequently use a liberal bead of silicone on the rim of the cover, and then press the cover down over the gasket while on a flat surface. This has 2 benefits...the gasket surface is now perfectly flat, and the gaskets stays stuck to the cover for valve adustments. Same results as Doug...just a little different twist to get there.

07-22-2014, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the kind note, Scott. I've been lurking off and on due to work and our 16-month old daughter, Piper, but I've been finding time to tinker lately. That means I need to pose questions for the great folks on the BCF!

All the best and talk to you soon!

Hi Jeremy,

Glad to see that you are still around! I was just thinking that it's been a while since I've seen a post from you.


07-25-2014, 10:35 AM
Thanks, everybody. I'll take your input to heart. I found these notes on application helpful, too (https://www.74tr6.com/siliconegasket.htm). My gasket did not come with the RTV silicone, but I am going to look into doing that.

07-25-2014, 11:59 AM
Pretty big production for just a valve cover gasket..

07-25-2014, 01:42 PM
Well; here's my take on it.
I use the plain old cork gasket, soak it in water til wet,
yellow snot to keep it on the valve cover,
lightly tighten it down, come back after a couple of beers
and tighten it down completely. Same goes for the oil pan.